With finals at the high school just around the corner, it’s crunch time for both students and teachers.
“The responsibility falls on two people,” ACT Prep teacher Kyle Lockos said. “It’s the student’s responsibility to study; it’s the teacher’s responsibility to let them know what they’re supposed to study.”
A straight-A high school student agreed with this. “Most teachers give you study guides,” she said and agreed that getting a study guide made studying helpful.
Final exams at the high school are worth between 10 and 20 percent of a student’s grade, which can affect the grades colleges will eventually see. With some students’ grades at stake, Lockos and AP Psychology teacher Jon Petter gave their advice to students worried about finals.
“Studying actually begins long before the night before the test,” Lockos said. “Students need to set the time aside, know what they’re learning style is and need to ask their teacher.”
Students must be responsible for setting time aside to study, but Lockos said the teachers also needed to have clear objectives.
“They need to have meaningful lessons, and most importantly a fair assessment,” Lockos said.
Petter said studying for finals definitely relates to his area of teaching.
“Everything about psychology relates to studying obviously… the ways in which you learn and review information and study [the information] will affect your chances of obviously being able to get them out. If… you’re distracted or just trying to straight memorize or overly nervous it can really affect how you put [the information] in.”
In a survey by American Psychological Association, 43 percent of high schoolers suffer from school-related stress. Petter said the best thing to do for stressed-out students is to vary up the ways of studying.
“[Students should] try to do everything they can to grasp the material because the anxiety is going to block the ways you can retrieve the material. The more ways you can practice… having that ability to vary the ways in which you study just gives you that many more opportunities to then retrieve it,” Petter said.
Dr. Roni Cohen-Sandler surveyed of 3,000 teen females, and ⅔ of the high schoolers said they were usually or always worried about getting into the “right” college, an issue faced in high schoolers today. About if she studys hard to get into a good college, the A student said, “Yes, but it’s also important to be well-educated.”
While multiple choice tests are sometimes graded by automated machines, Lockos and Petter agreed standardized tests don’t necessarily give an accurate summary of a student’s knowledge.
“I would say standardized tests are not reflective of ability level or knowledge. I think they can be trivial, so I think performances and essays are a much better way to show [what] you know.”
“I think a bit of a mixture [is good],” the A student said. “some multiple choice and an essay at the end. It depends on the course.”
Different websites or organizations will give tips on how students should study for finals and three popular tips are to study early, create a study guide and create a study calendar.
“Where are the most points available… there’s lots of different tests so find out what kind of test you’re going to be taking,” Lockos said.
Finals given at the high school can range from strictly scantron, to short answer, to essays.